The Kenyan comedy industry is growing so fast and we appreciate our comedians for their efforts.
But many have really struggled to get where they are today. Many have gone through several challenges among them poor pay, mistreatment and even rejection.
Jalang’o is among the many who had it tough starting out in the comedy industry.
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In an exclusive interview with Mpasho.co.ke, he said he performed for free for several years.
I was once paid with a packet of fries (chips) and most of the times I was paid with handshakes (greetings).
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It took Jalang’o several years to earn from his sweat.
After five years that’s when I started receiving money. My first pay was Sh300 back in 2005. I had performed at Matungulu Girls High school in Ukambani. I was playing a comic role in a set book.
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The Milele FM presenter has already narrated his rags to riches story to inspire many, who look up to him.
At 23 years old, I was a fisherman and a fishmonger in Homa Bay town, I used to go to the lake in the middle of the night, cast the net into the lake and in the morning I would sell fish to the women at the shore,’ he said during an Engage Talk in Kisumu.
He auditioned for years at the Kenya National Theatre and never gave up.
I always wanted to be a pilot, but I knew that I could not possibly afford the tuition no matter how hard I worked. So I focused on my other passion: acting. In the meantime, I washed cars and did some construction work to put some food on the table and my uncle would graciously give me bus fare to the Kenya National Theatre for any auditions I needed to attend,’ he said.
One day, a chance presented itself to Jalang’o after one of the main cast actors failed to show up for a big event after a night out.
I had waited three years for this opportunity. And when I took the stage, I told God that this was my chance and I needed his help. I couldn’t fail,’ the media personality said.
Top comedians Eric Omondi and Mc Jesse have worked hard their way up and just like Jalang’o, they were paid with food after performing.
Speaking about his comedy journey, Eric said,
COMEDY HAS REALLY EVOLVED. I STARTED DOING COMEDY AT WEDDINGS AND IN CHURCHES. WE WERE PAID USING SODAS AND FOOD. THAT WOULD BE OUR PAY, OUR CONTRACT. THEN IT MOVED TO VERY LITTLE MONEY. THAT’S WHY I THINK MY HEROES ARE THE FORMER COMEDIANS, THE OLDER GUYS, VITIMBI CREW (MZEE OJWANG, MAMA KAYAI, NGOMONGO ETC) BECAUSE THEY’RE OUR FREEDOM FIGHTERS.
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